Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Funds Chinese AV Maker

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s venture capital arm, Alliance Ventures, has become a Chinese Level 4 AV start-up’s lead strategic investor.

The investment was made as part of WeRide.ai’s Series A funding round and is Alliance Ventures’ first Chinese investment. The company claims it makes it the country’s first Level 4 AV maker to forge “a strategic partnership” with a major automaker.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance global vice-president of ventures and open innovation François Dossa said: “Autonomous systems are a key priority of the Alliance as we develop new mobility services. Our member companies are committed to introducing such technologies in key markets such as China, so we are delighted to be supporting WeRide.ai as it pioneers such full autonomous systems for the demanding Chinese marketplace”.

WeRide.ai CEO and co-founder Tony Han added that he also aimed to have a “relationship through strategic cooperation in specific areas” with the Alliance, but did not specify any projects on which he hoped they would collaborate. A statement from his company said it aims to deploy 500 AVs in China next year, while trialing “operation and commercialization” of them in Anqing and Guangzhou. It added that it hopes to make them fully operational throughout Chinese cities by 2020.

 


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